Marc Willems over record Warholm: "Very cool, but not the best performance ever"

Norwegian Karsten Warholm smashed his own world record in the 400m hurdles in Tokyo. The top 3 in the final even fell short of Kevin Young’s old world record from 1992. “This was by far the strongest 400m hurdles in history”, says commentator Marc Willems.

Norwegian Karsten Warholm ended the morning athletics session with a bang. In the 400 meter hurdles he sharpened his own world record to 45″94.

Kevin Young’s previous record in Barcelona was 46’78. His record stood for 29 years. That was already a very fine record. Until Warholm took that record at the beginning of July with a time of 46 “70”, says athletics commentator Marc Willems.

The same Warholm now runs another 76 hundredths faster in Tokyo. “That’s a gigantic pulverization of an old and strong world record. That’s just phenomenal.”

Willems does make a comment. “The piste in the Tokyo is fast and those new spikes simply give an advantage. We can’t ignore that. The technological evolution plays a part for a few hundredths.”

This was by far the strongest 400m hurdles ever.

Marc Willems

On the other hand, the record was run in a morning session. “Normally the athletes don’t like to run in the morning. But everyone really improved their time. Benjamin also fell below the previous record. The top 3 even falls below Young’s world record. This was by far the strongest 400m hurdles competition ever,” says Willems.

“This is not the best performance in history”

The most historic achievement ever in athletics was immediately shared on social media. According to Marc Willems, that is somewhat exaggerated.

“Firstly, it is difficult to compare performances over the years. If you want to do that anyway, then athletics has a means for this, namely the Hungarian table. In it the performances across the disciplines are compared.” says Willems.

If you take a look at that table and you take Usain Bolt’s 9″58 in the 100m, you would have to run 45″66 in the 400m hurdles to be able to speak of a similar performance. That’s another three tenths faster.

“This shows that it is not the most impressive achievement in the history of athletics,” says Marc Willems.

“The women will also set a world record”

“For the past three years, since the World Cup in Doha, the 400m hurdles has actually become a tougher number than the 100m for the men. Since Bolt has lost that number, there are no more athletes with charisma.”

The 400m hurdles has become a sexy track.

Marc Willems

“The 400m hurdles has become a sexy number. Also with the women. They will also run a world record in the final”, Willems is sure. “I’m thinking of McLaughlin or Muhammad.”

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